The Santa Fe County District Attorney on Monday dropped the gun enhancement charge against Alec Baldwin, giving the actor a big win in his “Rust” shooting case.
The D.A. dropped the charge in response to a motion filed by Baldwin’s legal team that alleged the prosecutors had pursued the charge but that it did not apply, according to TMZ. The ruling greatly diminishes the probability of Baldwin being put behind bars, even if he is convicted of the charges against him, according to TMZ.
Alec Baldwin wins a critical battle in the “Rust” case as the D.A. drops the gun enhancement charge. https://t.co/jGkwNvymj0
— TMZ (@TMZ) February 20, 2023
Baldwin was facing 5 years behind bars with the gun enhancement charge tacked on to his case. He now faces a maximum of 18 months behind bars, if any at all, as a result of the charge being dropped in favor of probation, according to TMZ.
At the time of the shooting, New Mexico law indicated a gun enhancement charge could only be applied if a gun was brandished, which would mean the gun had to have been displayed with the intent of intimidating or harming a person, according to TMZ. That was not the manner in which the gun was drawn in Baldwin’s case. (RELATED: REPORT: Family Of ‘Rust’ Shooting Victim Halyna Hutchins Launches New Litigation Against Alec Baldwin)
Alec Baldwin is seeking to have one of the charges of involuntary manslaughter dropped due to a “legal error” made by the New Mexico prosecutors https://t.co/oKjmG3NHoQ
— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 11, 2023
The D.A. mistakenly applied the gun enhancement charge, likely as a result of a new law that was enacted which broadens the scope and no longer requires a gun to be ‘brandished’ for the charge to be issued, according to TMZ. The amended law was implemented 7 months after Hutchins’ death.
Baldwin was charged in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins when a gun that he believed to be a ‘cold’ prop gun was fired during the rehearsal for filming. The gun contained live ammunition and Hutchins was fatally shot on movie set.
The D.A. also dropped the gun enhancement charge against armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, according to TMZ.